The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) celebrated the successful completion of studies by 90 Vanuatu students who graduated with qualifications in specialised technical and vocational programs from the college.
The graduation ceremony was held at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology campus in Port Vila on 21April 2015.
APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver training and to increase the supply of skilled workers in targeted sectors in the Pacific region. APTC has campuses in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
The event recognised the achievements of students who completed programs in Allied Health Assistance/Health Services Assistance, Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Early Childhood Education and Care, Electro-technology Electrical, Hospitality, Painting and Decorating, Tourism, Training and Assessment, Youth Work and Diploma in Management.
In his keynote address, the Vanuatu Country Director for SPC-GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Islands Region, Dr Christopher Bartlett challenged APTC graduates to use their intelligence, capacity for hard work and education to touch peoples’ lives.
“If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you can imagine yourself into the lives of those who don’t have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your graduation, but thousands of people in the Pacific whose lives you will help to change,” he said.
Dr Bartlett said that life in Vanuatu is slowly getting back to normal after cyclone Pam. He acknowledged the efforts of APTC students and alumni who volunteered at the National Disaster Management Office to help in disaster relief efforts in the country.
He told graduates that their vocational course qualifications and the newly developed skills will not only help them expand their careers, but will also equip them to help their beloved country and the Pacific create resilient communities ready to meet the challenges of natural disasters like cyclone Pam.
“With a qualification from this outstanding institution, you have everything you need to get started and to change the world. Did you study early child hood education? Prioritize work with schools to find better, more effective ways to understand and act on climate change and cyclone impacts. Did you study community development? Villages across this country and the Pacific are desperate for your help to recover and rebuild after natural disaster. Did you study tourism? Help us lead a green revolution developing new post-pam eco-tourism products that will power our economy and preserve our planet,” he added.
For the first time, two Vanuatu graduates attained dual qualifications in Allied Health Assistance and Health Services Assistance.
APTC has over 1,230 graduates from Vanuatu alone. Of these, 649 graduates are women.